Senator’s staff, EDD to hold office hours for Atwater AT&T call center employees

In the wake of the announced closure of two Atwater AT&T call centers, staff for State Senator Anthony Cannella, R-Ceres, said they will hold mobile office hours this week to offer assistance and information to affected employees.

Officials from the state’s Employment Development Department will also be available at the 1920 Customer Care Way site, according to an email from Cannella’s office.

This week’s mobile office hours are scheduled for 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tuesday, 9:15 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday and 9:45 a.m. to 3 p.m. Thursday.

Officials with AT&T last month confirmed they will close the call centers at the former Castle Air Force Base by Aug. 26, laying off about 397 workers.

Employees were given a 60-day notice when AT&T officials announced the closure on June 27. The corporation has offered an incentive of $5,000 for any worker willing to relocate to a call center in Southern California, Colorado, Washington or Idaho, depending on each worker’s job position.

Atwater city officials last week said they will send a letter urging AT&T to reconsider the closure. Earlier this month, Rep. Jim Costa, D-Fresno, wrote a strongly worded letter to AT&T, calling the closure the “largest private sector layoff in Merced County in more than two decades.”

The congressman called it “unacceptable” to give employees, many of whom have worked for AT&T for more than a decade, 10 days to decide if they want to relocate and only $5,000 for relocation costs.

For more information or to make an appointment in advance, call Cannella's Merced office at (209) 726-5495.